This year's Coalville City Council race features three candidates running for two vacant seats, as Council members Andrea Hewson and David Vernon are not seeking re-election. The Park Record spoke with Bob McKeehan, Cuyler Scates and Rodney Robbins about why they are running and what issues are important to them.

Bob McKeehan

Why are you running for Coalville City Council?

"They had two members step down and one member asked if I would run, who thought I'd be good on the Council," McKeehan said. "I have pretty conservative ideas of how we can be bringing in businesses."

What are you doing now and why do you feel you are qualified?

McKeehan said he works for a Walmart distribution center in Grantsville and makes it home to Coalville two days a week. Part of his job, he said, would to be a part of the community.

"We'll have a new mayor coming in. I want to get with him and come up with ideas on how to get small businesses in here," McKeehan said. "Our little town is drying up and we need to do something, whether it's tax or property incentives."

What are some issues that are important to you and what do you hope to accomplish should you be elected?

McKeehan said there are not too many important issues for him going into the election, but said he would like to potentially bring in manufacturing jobs to the area as well as protect homeowners in town by keeping property taxes down.

"The last mayor brought in some new streets, and there are some issues with the new [Icy Springs] bridge and our sewer systems," McKeehan said.


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What is your approach to growth and development in Coalville and how would you attract new business and/or tourism?

"We need to bring businesses in rather than putting the burden on homeowners," McKeehan said. "They're not going to come here without us going and searching them out."

Cuyler Scates

Why are you running for Coalville City Council?

"I was born and raised in Coalville. I've always been a huge fan of this small town," Scates said. "I would hate to see it die off and become a ghost town. Hopefully I can be a part of its continued prosperity and get some economic growth [here]."

What are you doing now and why do you feel you are qualified?

Scates, a construction manager, said he has lived in various small towns across the country in California, Arkansas and Colorado that are similar to Coalville.

"I bring a lot of knowledge from some other communities which have great opportunities and facilities that would really benefit our town," Scates said.

What are some issues that are important to you and what do you hope to accomplish should you be elected?

Scates said he would like to continue to work with the county fair staff to keep the fair in Coalville. He also wants to bring back some events that have died away, such as the fishing derby and hot air balloon festival. Getting funding to upgrade old water lines is also a priority, he said.

Scates added that he would also like to see if the recreation department could get a park built within the city limits, utilizing private funding sources to create additional recreational facilities. Attracting cyclists is also important to him, he said.

"We need to encourage bicyclists to come through our town and be a little bit more warming to them," Scates said. "We need to make some adjustments in our community to continue to bring that group through our community."

What is your approach to growth and development in Coalville and how would you attract new business and/or tourism?

Scates said he would like to promote Coalville by showing how close the town is to Salt Lake as any other town, while promoting the outdoor activities available, the proximity to the Weber River and pushing the town as the gateway to many of the canyons used for hunting and fishing.

"A couple hundred more families would be very beneficial to us," Scates said. "We can still live in a rural community, but we don't want it to grow into a metropolis."

Rodney Robbins

Why are you running for Coalville City Council?

"I love my city and I want to see that it does not change for the worse," Robbins said. "I [would] like the people to be freer. I don't want to see new codes and regulations passed that aren't necessary."

What are you doing now and why do you feel you are qualified?

Robbins rents out properties in the Coalville area that he maintains and said he is familiar with the city's codes.

"I know quite a few of the people [here] already and I would like to get to know the rest of them. I feel this would be the best way to do that," Robbins said.

What are some issues that are important to you and what do you hope to accomplish should you be elected?

Robbins said he would like to continue "beautifying the city" and to ensure that all projects that have been approved keep progressing. He added that regulations should not be enacted that restrict citizens.

"I don't want to see policies go in that would take freedom away from people," Robbins said. "I don't want to see regulations put in place that would inhibit people from doing what they wish to do with their own properties."

What is your approach to growth and development in Coalville and how would you attract new business and/or tourism?

Robbins wants to get residents to shop locally in Coalville more frequently and added that, if that happens, growth will "come on its own."

"Lower taxes for businesses wanting to come in would attract them," Robbins said. "I would like to try to get people of the city to put back in to their town like a lot of small towns have done in the past."